Letters to the Editor,
New Zealand Herald,
Re: Opinion Piece – “Bumpy Ride to the Field of Dreams”, published 28th November
Loren Portnow’s damning critique of the Central Rail Link is based on a number of erroneous assumptions.
He is not alone in assuming that the cost will blow out – not realizing that a $300 million allowance for inflation is already included in the $2.41 billion budget, which has always been expressed in 2021 dollars.
He also assumes six years of severe disruption for the CBD during construction, but only the first stage, taking about one year, will be by cut and cover – the rest will be tunneled deep underground and likely to take about 3 years.
He also prematurely declares that the rail electrification has failed, despite the fact that the last of the new electric units are yet to built in Spain and won’t be in service until the middle of next year. Although it is true that rail patronage stalled for a while, largely because of many months of disruptions during erection of the overhead power supply system, 17% growth over the last year is very encouraging.
But the biggest misunderstanding is that the CRL will only benefit the CBD. In fact all users of the rail network will benefit from much more frequent services which the CRL will enable, including many whose trips go nowhere near the central city.
Albert- Eden Local Board Member